223161 Improving Adolescent Health Outcomes by Including Parents in Community-based Treatment for Cannabis Use

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Elizabeth Lloyd McGarvey, EdD , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
MaGuadalupe Leon-Verdin, MS , Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Jennifer Smith, MS , Child & Family Services, Central Virginia Community Service Board, Lynchburg, VA
Esther Winters, PhD , Child & Family Services, Central Virginia Community Service Board, Lynchburg, VA
Sharon Wood , Child & Family Services, Central Virginia Community Service Board, Lynchburg, VA
Karen Bloomfield, RN, MSN , Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
Background: Adolescent health may be influenced in many ways, such as negative neighborhood environments, low-income status, and lack of insurance for preventive health care as well as peer pressure to conform to negative health behaviors. Parents, public health workers and therapists may play key roles in supporting healthy behavior choices by youth, such as stopping frequent use of cannabis (i.e. marijuana) and risk of involvement with the criminal justice system.

Objective: This study documents reduction in cannabis use and improved social connections among adolescents who are receiving evidence-based services (Assertive Continuing Care Protocol) from a rural Community Services Board. Involvement of parents is an important component in the program.

Methods: The Global Appraisal of Individual Needs [Initial] and the Appraisal of Individual Needs Monitoring [90 Days] were used to collect information from 109 participants between 12 and 18 years old. Comparison of the number of day of drugs consumption and the last time of drug usage were made at each follow up point. Focus groups of parents and youth were held to gather feedback about perceptions of service delivery and to identify the parent's roles and suggestions.

Results: Of youth in the program, 47% were African American/Black, 76% were male, mean age was 15.951.22. At baseline, 81% of youth reported using marijuana during the last 90 days. After 6 months in the program, only 24% of youth reported use of marijuana within the past 90 days. Parents identified themes related to parent-youth interactions during the program.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Be able to discuss the importance of including the family in supporting youth cessation of cannabis use and encouraging other healthy behaviors (e.g., physical activity). 2. Be able to articulate the importance of peers as barriers or supports to lifestyle choices among youth. 3. Be able to describe the effectiveness of one SAMHSA-funded community-based treatment program that demonstrated success in reducing cannabis use and improving social cohesiveness and identify issues faced by parents during the program.

Keywords: Adolescents, Access to Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Chief Evaluators on the grant. For over 15 years, I have been doing research and evaluations of public health programs. My current affliation is Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia. I also teach health behavior theory, and a health disparities course.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.